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Khumbu the Snow Leopard comes to Twycross Zoo
Via Grace for Twycross Zoo
April 2022: Khumbu, a two-year-old male Snow Leopard, arrived at the Zoo from The Big Cat Sanctuary in Ashford, Kent. This week, after settling in to his new home, he made his first public appearance at the Zoo as he explored his outdoor enclosure.
Khumbu joins fellow Snow Leopard Irma – a 13-year-old female who arrived at Twycross Zoo in 2010. Khumbu has joined the Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP).
Snow Leopards are currently listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with estimates of just 2,710 to 3,386 mature individuals left in the wild due to the ongoing threats of poaching and illegal trade.
To help protect Snow Leopards and ensure their future survival, Twycross Zoo is involved in a number of international breeding programmes. It has seen great success in this field, with four Snow Leopard cubs born at the Zoo since 2011.
Male Makalu and female Maya were born in 2011 to Snow Leopards Irma and Suou, and are now cared for in Zoos in France and Germany. In 2013, the same pair also produced boisterous brothers Sayan and Hari, who now live in Zoos in Austria and France In 2017, the pair produced another set of twins, Eva and Ceba who reside in France and Sweden – with all offspring helping to protect future populations of the species.
Neil Dorman, Curator at Twycross Zoo, said:
We are delighted to welcome Khumbu to his new home at Twycross Zoo. He has been settling in to his enclosure and hope our visitors take the opportunity to visit and find out more about this incredible species.
Snow Leopards face a number of threats in the wild and as a conservation charity, we’re proud to support vital breeding programmes – both here in the UK and internationally – which help to ensure the survival of this vulnerable species. It’s fantastic to see the legacy of our work in this field already, with Snow Leopard cubs born at Twycross now cared for in zoos around the world.”
On Tuesday 26th April, Khumbu celebrates his third birthday and the Zoo is inviting visitors to join in the celebrations. The Twycross Zoo team have released Khumbu’s very own birthday Wishlist – including bungee cords, hessian and catnip – for people wanting to purchase an extra special gift for the big cat’s big day.
Khumbu’s birthday list can be found on the Zoo’s Amazon Wishlist, which is filled with items that will enrich the lives of the animals on-site and keep their award-winning enclosures well maintained. Thanks to the donations of the public, the Zoo is able to provide a programme of enrichment for all its animals which helps to enhance their well-being.
Visitors to the Zoo on Khumbu’s birthday can also enjoy a range of special offers. The Zoo’s Vine coffee shop overlooks the Snow Leopard habitat and is the perfect spot to see Khumbu enjoy his new home. Visitors can buy any medium or large hot drink and enjoy a cookie for just £1. And to celebrate Khumbu’s arrival, for one day only, the Zoo is offering 20% off its Snow Leopard plush toys, so every visitor can take home a special memento.
Visitors to Twycross Zoo can discover more than 400 animals from 80 different species in 100 acres of outdoor space. To plan your visit and buy tickets online, visit twycrosszoo.org/khumbus-birthday